Spring – 2013
We are well into almighty Spring now. Seeds planted scant days ago are muscling their way through the fortified mud so meticulously formulated to speed their quickening. Trays of the stuff are filled with green humpbacks like schools in a brown sea. The clock is ticking, the race on, the chlorophyll flowing. It is my favorite time.
Like many gardeners, I sprout far more seedlings than I have acreage to accommodate them. If I were not so familiar with their brief cycle and the inevitable calamities that befall sprouts as they tackle successive stages in their growth, I would think myself foolish. My understanding of the mortality of seedlings and plants is on my side. Room will be made.
As a hybridizer, and perhaps more telling, as a human being, I’ve had to come to terms with culling the herd much as I’ve had to come to terms with culling other things out of my life. Its difficult to compost what otherwise appear to be healthy plants simply because their blooms are asymmetrical, inherently flawed in some minor way, or fail to fulfill the vision. Others are wildly flawed and irrevocably prone to every form of aberration nature might choose to bestow. They resist, because they are born to do so. They fail, because their biology is broken. Time is not on their side. Even worse, my time is not on their side.
If you are an old gardener, plant heroics aren’t in your dictionary. If you’re a hybridizer, the mass slaughter of the mildly defective is of no moment. You have a job to do, and that job is not to ferret out diamonds in the rough. Your job is to eyeball the gems delivered to your door and use all your expertise to get them cut, propagated and delivered to human beings whose medicine they will become when the calamity of this world encroaches.
If you are an avid gardener and don’t currently dabble in DNA, you should give it a go. This old world needs more doctors of plant pleasure.